Alphasat – The most sophisticated telecom satellite of Europe

Portuguese technology developed with EVOLEO Technologies was successfully launched into Space

On the 25th July, 2013, was successfully launched from Kourou in French Guyana, the largest and most sophisticated telecommunications satellite of Europe, called Alphasat. ESA – Flawless launch of Alphasat (Europe largest and most sophisticated telecom satellite)

The Alphasat includes the Technological demonstration platform TDP8, developed since 2008, which implements 4 scientific electronic systems with the purpose of testing the effect of cosmic radiations in space environment in memories (MTB), transistors (GAN), optoelectronic converters (SIOS) and record the observed radiation levels (MFS).

The project TDP8, lead by Efacec, counted with a large participation of EVOLEO Technologies throughout all the process. Important contributions and developments were done by several other entities, as “Instituto de Telecomunicações de Aveiro (IT-UA)” developer of the unit GAN, the Spanish “DAS Photonics” designer of unit SIOS, “Laboratório de Instrumentação e Física Experimental de Partículas” (LIP) and “Acosiber”.

EVOLEO Technologies was responsible in the design, development and implementation of:

  • On-board computer (DIF), of space quality, is in charge of all the operation management of TDP8, including the on-board memory and communications interface with the satellite.
  • Power distribution and protection (PDU), capable to distribute the energy to the 4 scientific internal units and protect them in case of failure.
  • Memory test board (MTB), is one of the 4 scientific experiments and execute extensive tests in memories evaluating their susceptibility to the cosmic radiation.
  • Systems engineering (SYS), in charge of ensuring the right integration of all the subsystems, giving also support to the development of other entities (IT-UA e DAS).
  • On-board software (OBSW), managing the communications with the satellite, internal subsystems control of TDP8 and scientific data management.
  • Scientific data centre (IFDA), able to receive the flight data of TDP8, organize them and make them available for further scientific studies.
  • Operations centre (OPS), implements a set of computational automatisms to manage the mission and monitoring of the general condition of TDP8 in flight.
  • Electrical test system (EGSE), is used in the simulation, development and test of all the TDP8. It is essential in the supporting to the qualification tests of the equipment.
  • The mission starts now for a period of 5 years where relevant scientific data will be generated for the assessment of the effect of radiation in electronic systems.

The Operations center (OPS), installed in Efacec facilities in Maia, Portugal, will allow to change several configuration of TDP8 and, combined with the Scientific data center (IFDA), will make available the data to the researchers of ESA to know how the experiments behave at about 36,000 km distance from Earth.